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October 12, 2009

Comments

Thanks for the links. The comment looked familiar enough even in truncated/edited form that I thought it must have been posted on Obsidian Wings in some form.

I note that the rule has always been that there are differing standards for abuse of people in public life who are not commenting/posting on Obsidian Wings (eg, calling Obama a "narcissist", calling Bush a murderous thug) and vituperation and abuse directed at posters/commenters, as for example Chris McManus's spiteful comments at Lindsay for her lolcats posts.

(And I remember being startled at the time that Sasha, who asserted that ze was "just not that into violence" was apparently undisturbed by a Republican candidate murdering his Democratic opponent in effigy - but offended by John Thullen being savagely funny about the incident. Savage but funny: that it is politically acceptable in the Republican party for candidates to symbolicly murder their opponents, is decidedly more disturbing than any jokes that could be made on that topic.)

can we have a posting rule excluding tu quoque arguments? just thought I'd put that out there as long as the floor is open...

Jesurgislac,

I was not "undisturbed" by the Republican's behavior. That's a gross misreading of what I actually said, which is this:

John Thullen,

What Lowry did is indefensible. I want to be clear that I meant your post was funny, not Lowry's threat. I still harbor reservations as to whether violent, tough guy posturing is the proper response to violent, tough guy posturing.

I've given up posting here because the endless discussions of civility are just outright boring. In my own experience of the site I tend to get dinged for what I see as enthusiasm, or my sense of humor, while other posters are considered in good standing although they attack people directly and insultingly as long as certain key words are avoided. I frequently found the discussion threads ugly and abusive of other posters while everyone else was congratulating themselves on the sparkling civility. Its a difference of opinion about where true civility is to be found, and also a difference of opinion about the utility or meaningfulness of certain kinds of dialogue among people who strongly disagree about important matters of public policy, history, and culture.

I used to be interested in watching this happen but now I just find it tedious. I'm not saying that in a "goodbye cruel world" kind of way. I'm sure I wasn't missed. Just offered informationally.

aimai

Seconding aimai, since the comment I made previous to aimai's is gone.

Pericles and Sasha, everyone else, including newbies: Yes, I've been over the line. I'll rein it in. I apologize.

All of the quotes are accurate. Perhaps not the context, but still, my fault.

Yes, there are reasons for my tone.

Thanks Hilzoy and Jackmormon and others.

As always, Russell.

LJ, drinks all around.

Let's not pay too much attention to the "Thullen Immunity", but thank you Publius.

I do try to insult public figures, not individual OBWI commentators.

Since some individual comments of mine were singled out, my point with the comments about the gunslinger Republican candidate shooting the Democratic candidate in effigy is simply this: in a civil society, wherein political figures debate the issues leading up to an election, what does civil debate look like after you've shot your opponent in effigy?

Do you move on to discuss the intricacies of education policy with the shooter, for example? Do you now wear a bullet-proof vest as you do so, just in case? Do you flinch each time the shooter-now-debater gestures, not knowing what might happen? Are the shooter's gun-mates in the audience?

Or, do we need a remake of the "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."

So, yeah, I've been bad news, but take a look around and see how bad it is and who are the perpetrators. I'm nothing.

Sebastian has the best policy regarding my comments -- ignore them.

Maybe I'll take a break.

Thanks for listening.


Also, good luck, Slart.

I'm sure I wasn't missed.

Well, don't be.

"Thanks for listening."

John,

As opposed to the Sebastian strategy, I usually read your comments first, when I see them on the sidebar. I find your usual indictment of public figures interesting, both for perspective and style. I don't always agree. They have been just a little more strident(?)lately. Some of us always listen.

I guess mileage varies on whether a post is insulting or threatening. Perhaps people who write in mock-ferocious tones might consider applying some sort of label/disclaimer at the bottom? Obviously, this wouldn't be a get out of jail free card, but it might help. Would it be too much for the gonzos and budding satirists to simply label themselves as "mock-ferocious" vel sim?
.
On a related note, can someone explain why people refuse to comment on sites that require registration and suchlike? This is a genuine inquiry.

"what does civil debate look like after you've shot your opponent in effigy?"

A lot like before hand, though it might be enlightened by some realization that the moment you're talking about laws, you've already put shooting your opponents on the table. All the shooting in effigy does is put shooting back on the table.

can someone explain why people refuse to comment on sites that require registration and suchlike?
I can think of two main reasons:

1) The bar to joining the conversation for the first time becomes significantly higher, there's more of a hassle involved, both in the process to register and because you're creating yet one more account to keep track of.

2) The software often is irritating. I don't necessarily have quite the same username on all sites (some do or don't allow spaces, for example, and although I'm consistent on political sites on some apolitical sites I don't use this handle), and I don't use the same password on all sites. Some sites require me to log in each and any time, and practically any site at which you comment very infrequently will require you to log in again each time. TypePad used to lose Google Chrome log-ins each time my computer went to sleep.

Warren - I suspect the reasons you cite might have much to do with it. I was also curious as to whether there was some more principled reason for said refusal. Thank you.

Ok, I for one do not want to see Thullen driven out of the community all Lord of the Flies style.

Really, losing Hil, Farber AND Thullen in one year (the latter under these dubious circumstances)? If you'll pardon my (bowdlerized) French, f*ck that noise. As I just said over @ TiO (hey, remember that wacky place?), if Thullen leaves, matttbastard riots.

Unlike some here, I sure as hell don't skip over his comments. His caustic gonzo wisdom is an ObWi staple, one of the things that (apparently used to) make this place unique. To throw all that away just because someone demonstratively got their tu quoque on would be tragic.

In other words, don't go off into the desert horizon, John. Or if you do, take me with you. I'll buy the ether and Jim Beam if you gas up the Caddy.

Bats! God bless.

What matttbastard said, only more so, with cupcakes.

(If I see John Thullen's commented on a thread, I click to read the Thullenesque comment, even if I hadn't previously been reading that thread.)

Sasha, sorry that I misunderstood. I got the impression that you were more offended by Thullen's comments than by the actual incident, but I am certainly glad to know that I was wrong about that. I did not read Thullen's comments as more tough-guy posturing, but as a kind of Blackadder-style humor on an unthinkable situation.

By the way, since my reading of ObWi was spotty over the summer and I think I must have missed something - what did happen to Farber? I know he's still in the blogosphere, because I've spotted him commenting elsewhere. Was there drama of some sort?

What matttbastard said, only more so, with cupcakes.

seconded.

Warren, Gary decided to focus his time and effort on his own blog (please see the blogroll).

Oh, I knew about Gary's blog (though I've actually never read it much). But he had his own blog the whole time he was commenting here frequently, so I was wondering if there was a particular reason that caused him to stop commenting here.

Re: registered comments, I personally would have no problem with using my Typekey ID, but recall that some regulars have said before they won't comment at sites that require registration.

I'm one of them. There are rare exceptions, but I'm sick of registering for every single piece of interactive content on the web. When left with no alternative, I will sometimes still do so, but I will typically give an alias that forwards to my real address--one I can kill if necessary.

I don't mind registering for services that I use and on which I store my own content, but if I'm faced with the necessity of going through a registration process to leave a blog comment... sorry, but I don't care who you are, your content is not so spectacularly unique that I feel compelled to memorize or store yet another set of account credentials for you.

I also get worried about reusing my passwords. I try to vary them, but they often resemble each other, so expanding the number of different places makes me worried that someone will figure out my passwords. I also get worried about spam. I appreciate that a lot of places on the web are concerned with privacy, but what happens if they go out of business? Or get bought by someone who then sells the addresses off? I did sign up for typekey, but only because of the volume of spoof trolls around.

Leave Thullen alone. He’s not the same as the “oral rapist.”

For the record, Thullen has done some pieces/sets that could easily be interpreted as sexist and racist, for that matter, however he has the skillz to dance on a ledge and not fall off.


The whole idea about civility is important and worthwhile. But I think you can certainly be civil here and still use purple prose and get rough, too.

When incivility takes over, it's like pornography in that you know it when you see it.

As someone on his side of the political spectrum, I will note a bias. But I can't remember ever regarding Thullen as uncivil. This isn't church.

Now I have found myself being envious, wishing I could do what he does with words.

Creativity always impressives me. And even the best swing and miss, but they keep taking swings. So I sure hope John keeps swinging, for when I find myself spending time here, I seek his unique take on our times.

Meanwhile, I was wondering upthread if calling Obama a "narcissist" is code for something, because I can't see why one would be offended by that word. It may be unflattering, but it ain't nowhere near crossing a line like calling the president a Nazi.


I'm sure I wasn't missed.

Maybe we could all use a little more time at the firing range.

Warren, Gary decided to focus his time and effort on his own blog (please see the blogroll).

I've conversed with Gary quite a lot, offline, about this, and I think this is something he wouldn't disagree with. Also, that he'd have gladly taken a front-page role, here, if one had been offered.

I don't think I've abused his privacy in saying any of that, but if I have, I abase myself. I die.

As far as civility in general goes, I'd just like it a whole lot more if a) folks would thicken their skins a bit more so as to more ably handle the wry barb, and b) some folks would refrain from going pitchforky on any and all occasions, as that tends to make this a less friendly place to hang out. If you're talking brickbats at someone for the sole purpose that they'll just leave and not come back, you're suppressing their dissent!

Christ, won't any of you (and me, really) just grow up?

Done, now. I promise to be less grumpy tomorrow, or the next day.

Can we have a posting rule that if Slartibartbast wants to be threads-cop, that entails his not joining in on arguments on either side?

Meanwhile, I was wondering upthread if calling Obama a "narcissist" is code for something, because I can't see why one would be offended by that word.

1) It's empty namecalling. It happens to take the standard form of educated middle-class namecalling (i.e., psychiatric diagnosis), but empty namecalling is what it is and all it is.

2) It's not clear why Obama is more "narcissistic" than anyone else who tries to become president of the US. You have to think quite well of yourself to believe you can do that job. Talking about yourself is an essential part of political campigning, and candidates do it A LOT. So the question is whether singling out Obama as "narcissistic" is a code for "doesn't know his place," or the dreaded "uppity." I've never heard a good argument that it isn't.

I tend to agree with you, Hogan.

Much of the distrust/hate/dislike thrown President Obama's way has racial overtones/roots. But the fact that it can't be measured is frustrated.

I mean, I hardly think everyone who views Obama a narcissist has a racial motive. I, for one, can certainly see where he has some narcissistic tendencies -- but, as Hogan noted, most politicians do.

I don't think anyone would be upset if someone used narcissist to describe Vice President Biden (on the cover of this week's Newsweek, btw, which seemed odd since it's not as if we are in a slow-news period). And so what if Biden is? He has plenty of good qualities to go along with his strong sense of self.

Sometimes I think we Democrats need to be less sensitive. For example, this whole mess about the White House "taking on" Fox news seems juvenile.

As much as we lefties despise Fox and its one-sided treatment of the news, it is preaching to a choir and it simply does not have enough weight to bring down a White House. However, said White House might bring down itself by focusing on distractions instead of driving the day's news with a more important agenda.

FWIW, I thought it was necessary and smart for the Obama campaign to take on falsehoods and the like from Fox during the campaign.

But this is about governing now. By regularly responding to Fox, the Obama White House simply makes Beck and the rest seem more legitimate and raises their stature.

By regularly responding to Fox, the Obama White House simply makes Beck and the rest seem more legitimate and raises their stature.

I think that's the point: they seem to want extremism to be synonymous with criticism of/objections to Obama's agenda. It's a not-so-subtle means of preemptively delegitimizing legitimate dissent. The Bushies did it by rhetorically associating all antiwar sentiment with the Code Pink/ANSWER 'far-left'.

And it worked -- decent people don't like to be smeared as 'indecent'.

OT - Hey, btfb, you watching anything in particular on TV tomorrow night?

"So the question is whether singling out Obama as "narcissistic" is a code for "doesn't know his place," or the dreaded "uppity." I've never heard a good argument that it isn't."

So here's one. All politicians are by common agreement(anywhere I have had this discussion) narcissist's to some extent.

The challenge facing Obama is the rock star status that he achieved during the campaign that has been transitioned into the routine of the Presidency.

He has accepted, or relished, the role of personally (thus narcissistically)presenting himself as the answer to fixing the worlds view of America, preaching to the American people about what their values should be and, most importantly, doing this endlessly and tiresomely on every imaginable show, venue etc. It seeems clear to some that he enjoys the limelight portion of being President at the expense of governing.


He seems to be content to let everyone else take a stand while he hovers above the fray constantly and says tsk tsk ya'll should get along.

I am fine if people disagree with any of this, but it is the explanation that no "code" words are being used by MOST of those using that term.


btfb: Well, Brocco did say during the campaign that he'd address and talk with rogue regimes with no preconditions. So, by talking to and about Fox, he's just keeping his promise.

He has accepted, or relished, the role of personally (thus narcissistically)presenting himself as the answer to fixing the worlds view of America,

Cite, please? Including the source of your psychological insight ("relish") and any quote where he says he (as opposed to policies he espouses) will fix the world's view of America?

preaching to the American people about what their values should be

That is something presidents have always done.

, most importantly, doing this endlessly and tiresomely on every imaginable show, venue etc.

This is something politicians do. If he has more access to those outlets, it's because he has a higher profile and more powerful position. Does he do it more than earlier presidents? More than Clinton? More than Reagan? Because that's really the question: how different is he from other people in his position, other than your reaction to him?

It seeems clear to some that he enjoys the limelight portion of being President at the expense of governing.

Again, you seem to know a lot about the psychological workings of this man you've never met face to face, never had a conversation with, never seen outside of very public situations. Whence this insight?

Can we have a posting rule that if Slartibartbast wants to be threads-cop, that entails his not joining in on arguments on either side?

FWIW, in my VHO this isn't needed. I think slarti has amply demonstrated his ability to be fair while wearing the cop hat, in spite of his whatever opinion he might hold.

Not an unreasonable question, I just don't think it's needed in slarti's case.

"Whence this insight?"

This is a silly question, you asked, I answered. This what I think about our current President. He likes his rock star image almost as much as he likes to be on David Letterman. It diminishes the office and, I believe, it will diminish the role of the US in world affairs.

This is a silly question, you asked, I answered. This what I think about our current President.

You're welcome to think what you like. You're even welcome to not be able to produce good reasons for what you like to think, as opposed to endless rephrasings of it. I'm just sayin.

Russell: Not an unreasonable question, I just don't think it's needed in slarti's case.

Given that his first use of his cop-powers was to warn me that I was behaving badly by identifying Irrumator as a troll, while he was aware that Irrumator had made sexually offensive comments about Lindsay on an earlier thread, I do think it's needed in Slarti's case. Either he's going to police trolls or he's going to attack commenters with opposing political views to his own: he can't do both.

Given that his first use of his cop-powers was to warn me that I was behaving badly by identifying Irrumator as a troll

No. He warned you because you made a trollish comment about death panels killing 22,000 people. You brought me into it as a "look over there" diversion.

And outside of the Andrea Dworkin zone, describing someone as "hot" is not offensive.

Marty: "This is a silly question, you asked, I answered. This what I think about our current President. He likes his rock star image almost as much as he likes to be on David Letterman. It diminishes the office and, I believe, it will diminish the role of the US in world affairs."

Seriously? After eight years of Bush II, you can say this? After the 2000 election, after the lies that led us to invade Iraq, after the snubs to allies and adversaries, after the appointment of someone who thinks the UN shouldn't exist as ambassador to the UN, after "Mission Accomplished" flight jockey theater, after eight years of all the things done by the Bush administration, you think Obama's enjoyment of being President is going to "diminish the role of the US in world affairs"?

Really?

"You're welcome to think what you like. You're even welcome to not be able to produce good reasons for what you like to think, as opposed to endless rephrasings of it. I'm just sayin."

Do you remember the question I was answering? If not, then I could see your angst at having your President insulted so unfairly (not really). If so, I answered it.

Do you remember the question I was answering?

Was it "How is Obama different from other presidents, and how do you know?" Oh wait, you never did answer that one.

...I could see your angst at having your President insulted so unfairly... .

Yeah, um, Texas hasn't yet seceded from the union, Carnac. ;)

"Do you remember the question I was answering?

Was it "How is Obama different from other presidents, and how do you know?" Oh wait, you never did answer that one."

No I answered this one,

So the question is whether singling out Obama as "narcissistic" is a code for "doesn't know his place," or the dreaded "uppity." I've never heard a good argument that it isn't.

you obviously didn't like the answer, but I didn't suspect you would.

Although I am under no obligation to answer all your questions, the answer to how he is different is that he is everywhere all the time more than any President in the past. This is even discounting the count of references to I or me in his speech to the Olympic committee, which I think George Will captured effectively here

you obviously didn't like the answer, but I didn't suspect you would.

I didn't like or dislike your answer. I asked for a good argument. Your impressions, unsupported by evidence, are not a good argument, no matter how (or whether) I feel about them.

Someone named Irrumator talking about a "hot" woman and "liking the way her mouth looks" is well beyond the pale, on a site that (used to) discuss issues like domestic violence with subtlety and sensitivity.

The current estimate is that one in three women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. It's not the "Andrea Dworkin zone" pay attention to the fact that, even were the rest of the community entirely devoid of empathy, a good sixth of the people reading this site will react really badly to a commenter calling himself Irrumator and making that kind of a comment.

If you're not a troll, don't act like one.

Thanks for typing my thoughts for me, Nate, on October 14, 2009 at 03:19 PM. Just...wow.

Can we have a posting rule that if Slartibartbast wants to be threads-cop, that entails his not joining in on arguments on either side?

I don't think it's needed either. I don't think I've EVER agreed with him, but IO do trust him (just as I trust von, even though I disagree with himn even more than Slarti).

While Marty took some of those psychological-analysis liberties that used to drive Gary crazy, I think it is worthwhile examing President Obama's rock-star status.

I don't think we have had another president who had these qualities. President Clinton was beloved around the world, but not just because he was Bill Clinton -- and not before being elected (when he was virtually an unknown).

I was age 1 when Kennedy died, but I believe he had some of these rock-star qualities. Yet his legend seems to have grown in death; I don't think he had the kind of worldwide popularity that Obama does when he was living (plus the world was a smaller place then).

I cheered when Obama took his European pre-victory tour during the campaign. It was great to see that the world could still embrace the United States after eight years of Bush and Cheney.

But I will admit -- even though I think it is a good thing he has it -- to be a bit resentful of it reaching the height of winning of a Nobel Peace Prize at a time when I have struggled more financially during his first year as president than at the end of Bush's final term. Yes, I know he inherited the biggest portion of this mess, but I don't think he has done enough to help those who need it financially -- especially in the area of mortgage modification and foreclosure relief, where his lip service is tiresome and shameful.

I believe the Dow was poised to hit 10,000 today, validation of the mutual masturbation between the Obama White House and Wall Street.

Dow at 10,000.

Unemployment at 10 percent.

I'm kept staring at those two numbers, sickened, and could not think of anything eloquent to say, so I won't.

P.S. hairshirt: Game 4 left me feeling the Phillies got their mojo back. I know the Dodgers won't be easy -- nor the Angels for the Yankees -- but I'd love for the Phils to get a crack at the damn Yankees.

I don't think it's needed either.

Well, if Slarti improves from a rough start - ie quits using his cop powers to threaten those who disagree with him, and actually does something about trolls who threaten to rape front-page posters, well: fine.

But I can't say I'm impressed with someone who thinks it's inappropriate to censure a sexually-offensive comment directed at the only woman who's a front-page poster - but perfectly appropriate to threaten to censure me for mentioning a politically-unwelcome fact about healthcare. Regardless of how new Slarti is to his powers, that was a bad, bad start.

trolls who threaten to rape front-page posters

I saw none of that. But by all means, point it out; I'd be more than happy to relieve them of their commenting privileges.

Marty, it might be worth examining Will's incompetence at linguistic statistics before blindly embracing his made-up facts about Obama's use of the first person.

I saw none of that.

None so blind as those that won't see, eh? You did, and mentioned it as something you hadn't thought worthwhile calling the facef**ker on.

I'd be more than happy to relieve them of their commenting privileges.

Excellent: so facef**ker is banned, then? You're not just going to continue looking in the opposite direction and pretend it's not happening?

Jes,

I think it's overreaching to call it a threat.

I found it a grossly offensive comment, and I think that Irrumator has enough control over his language that it can be treated as deliberately obnoxious.

But Slarti's position is not that he would be still if it happened again. He said:

Yes, that was more than a little creepy. If I'd had any privilege at the time, I'd have said something.

IOW, the obstacle is that it happened before he got the tin star, not that he would turn a blind eye now.

I don't know what the agreement is between him and the kitten, so I can't speculate on whether he does have the powers to ban someone for what was said before that line. I think we've brought it as thoroughly to his attention as is likely to be feasible, and I trust that any future such comments will be dealt with appropriately.

Irrumator's own honor, and his own responsibility for comments that he made before the New Regime, are Irrumator's own concern. If he chooses to ignore that, well, that says what it says about him.

evilrooster, the posting rules still applied, and FaceF**ker's comment is well out of order by them.

My point here is that Slartibartfast's first response to his new powers was to go after me - apparently because I, along with a bunch of other people, had been offensively calling out FaceF**ker as a troll. But somehow my doing so was worse than anyone else doing so: Of course McKinneytexas also got called out (by Publius) for referring to FaceF**ker as a troll, so maybe Slarti and Publius both just find his comments amusing and decorative, and want him to want to stay?

As opposed to John Thullen, who apparently has overstepped the line and also ought to be censured?

So is Slarti going to use his new powers wisely or with bias? Who knows? I certainly don't. What comments are valued? So far the impression from Publius and Slartibartfast at least is that Irrumator and Jay Jerome are just fine and ought to be made to feel welcome, while Mckinneytexas, John Thullen, and myself, are rude bastards who ought to be told to pipe down.

None so blind as those that won't see, eh?

Insult, with the request for substantiation left conveniently unanswered. If you think there's a threat, wouldn't the smart thing be to point out the threat, so one of us could do something about it? Why do you hate doing the smart thing?

And outside of the Andrea Dworkin zone, describing someone as "hot" is not offensive.

My last reply to irrumator.

When your name means "someone who forces other people to blow him", the statement that you like the way someone else's mouth looks is, to say the least, unwelcome.

There are people here with lots of fanciful nicknames. None of them, however, are things like "on your knees b*tch", or "bend over and take it", or "I'll show you what that hole if for".

And until now, none of them were "I'll make you blow me".

You've established new ground, my friend.

No matter what you say, it will be signed "I will make you blow me". So no matter what you say, I for one am going to receive it as an offense. Because in any context other than a community of ill-mannered 11 year old boys, it's f**king rude.

I'm not sure why you've been granted the very long leash that you've enjoyed so far, but as far as I'm concerned, you're an infantile, rude, disruptive bastard, and I'll thank you to piss off.

Not my call, so here you will remain by the kitty's leave. But I got nothing to say to you, and I'm not interested in anything you have to say to me.

Thanks -

People frequently get usernames wrong, particularly when they're in foreign languages. Latin words, with all their different endings, are particularly rich ground for typos. It's useful to have a conjugation reference to for first conjugation (-are) verbs, both in the active and passive voices.

Otherwise, someone named amator (one who loves) might mistakenly be addressed as amatus (one who is loved), or even amandus, (one who, by his very nature, compels that he be loved).

Slarti: If you think there's a threat, wouldn't the smart thing be to point out the threat, so one of us could do something about it?

I just did, and you just declined.

Tell me, why was the first thing you wanted to do with your powers as new cop in town, to pick a fight with me over my views on the US healthcare system?

Jesurgislac,

Would you please chill with the hyperbole and hysteria? I didn't threaten anyone. I made an off-color comment that I'm willing to concede was perhaps inappropriate. Slarti already reprimanded me for it, and it won't happen again.

But the real issue is the way you're using me as an excuse for your own trolling. You were discussing healthcare with Noise Machine, not me, and you made up a statistic about death panels killing 22,000 in order to get a rise out of him. Slarti called you on it, and said "Now, there's an outright trollish comment."

I had nothing to do with any of that. If you think it was unfair of him to call your comment "trollish" take that up with him. But leave me out of it.

I think it is worthwhile examing President Obama's rock-star status.

Sure. Part of the examination would be determining to what extent that status is something Obama has made happen by himself, or the result of things he didn't necessarily control.

A good deal of why Clinton was beloved around the world was precisely because he was Clinton, the Elvis of politics. If it seemed less intense then, maybe it's because he wasn't running to replace a strong candidate for Worst President Ever, so there was less free-floating desperation.

I think Kennedy's level of international fandom was very close to Obama's. And I think in that case also it was something that happened to him, not something he chose.

Oh, and Marty, I wanted to get back to this:

I am fine if people disagree with any of this, but it is the explanation that no "code" words are being used by MOST of those using that term.

They are people who are pushing this notion (newspeople, columnists, Republican politicians) and people who are passing it on (you). I would guess that most of the people passing it on aren't intentionally speaking in code, and that most of the people pushing it are. Which is a problem. The code works either way.

"They are people who are pushing this notion (newspeople, columnists, Republican politicians) and people who are passing it on (you)."

In other words, no matter what other reasonable explanation there might be, if you criticize Obama you are racist? That seems to be your "code".

I don't just "pass things on", the assumption that I do is insulting and inaccurate.

I don't just "pass things on", the assumption that I do is insulting and inaccurate.

You just passed on George Will's bogus statistical claims about Obama's speeches. I intend no insult by stating that fact.

"You just passed on George Will's bogus statistical claims about Obama's speeches. I intend no insult by stating that fact."

Typical, so let me rephrase, I don't JUST pass things on.

In other words, no matter what other reasonable explanation there might be, if you criticize Obama you are racist?

Sigh. No.

I don't just "pass things on", the assumption that I do is insulting and inaccurate.

Really? I do. I do almost no original reporting, and not that much original analysis; a lot of what I know or think I know is passed on. And I'm not always as thoughtful as I should be about what I pass on. I didn't mean it as an insult, and I'm sorry it came out that way.

Last word is yours. I seem to be making a mess here.

"I think Kennedy's level of international fandom was very close to Obama's. And I think in that case also it was something that happened to him, not something he chose."

Kennedy's fandom deserved; Obama's not.
Kennedy a war hero, awarded a Purple Heart.
Obama a high-school basketball player, awarded a Bleeding Heart.
Kennedy a Senator with a substantial legislative record.
Obama a Senator with a paucity of legislative history.
Kennedy a decisive President.
Obama an Oval Office Hamlet:

To send more troops or not to send more troops: that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to procrastinate
And evade the slings and arrows of Media scrutiny
And thereby duck away from a sea of troubles
And hide in a barrage of lofty verbiage
And avoid the whips and pangs of calamity--
Thus does indicision make cowards of us all!

The Act3 mia culpa Soliloquy to follow, after the Health Care Act is passed, and 40 million Americans pound their breasts in despair as their health insurance rates Climb and their benefits Plunge.

[At intermission, tofu and Voss Bottled Water from Norway will be served to Obama groupies in attendance; or Sam Adams Beer and Chili Dogs for those with a more robust constitution]

Kennedy's fandom deserved; Obama's not.

Conservatives do have a habit of discovering that liberal icons they despised in life become their heroes after death. See, e.g., Martin Luther King.

"Conservatives do have a habit of discovering that liberal icons they despised in life become their heroes after death."

If you're referring to me as a Conservative, you're a mile off track--

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